Sophie Cooper is a musician from Stoke on Trent who now lives in West Yorkshire. She writes songs influenced by psychedelic pop, noise and drones and has played and released music over the past 10 years in bands including Cooper Jones, Leopard Leg, Remedial Queen of England and others. Sophie has released music on labels including Blackest Rainbow, Exotic Pylon, Night People and Tor Press.
I have to thank my brother Philip for providing the inspiration for this recording and for appearing all the way through, I’m guessing that he was about 7 at the time. When we were kids, we’d often play “Radio Station” which consisted of getting two tape players, (probably borrowing one off our older sister) sticking them side by side, playing one tune off one and recording onto the other introducing the tracks in American accents although I still don’t understand why we thought Steve Wright was American. I think we thought that being American also meant being a bit posh which to our Stoke on Trent ears, Steve would have definitely sounded but who knows.
1. This is a ‘Tom Cool’ practice which was me and Billy AB. We recorded this in Levenshulme in 2006. My room was at the top of the house and if the window was open, the sound would travel outside, reverberate against the walls and it would just get so loud. So many times when we were practicing I’d leave Bil for a bit and go for a listen outside. There’s a quick clip of the sound of that window opening on this recording, before the track starts, during a thunderstorm.
2. In about 2003 I went to the Afflecks Palace in Manchester to have my tarot read. I forget the name of the lady who did it but she was really not afraid of telling things how she saw them which you can tell from this edited recording of our conversation.
3. Billy and I were into jamming with other people when we were playing as Tom Cool. This recording features us with our friends Clem and James practicing for a gig in Leeds the next night in 2007. I’ve messed around with the recording so it does sound quite different to how the original ghetto blaster recording was.
4. Palm Harts – Excerpt from ‘Phones’. This is me and Pascal Nichols from about 2006. Pas had seen an advert on MySpace from some Swedish CDR label asking for people to send in tracks around the theme of phones so we knocked this beauty together using a couple of walkie talkies and two Casio VLTones to send off. Upsettingly, this track was rejected by the label. They were too twee for us or we were too harsh for them, one of the two.
5. Variation of ‘Guitre 7’ by, Italian 18th century composer, Matteo Carcassi. I’ve been playing the sheet music of this study since about 1996 and for the past few years have recorded maybe 20 versions of it of which this track is one. I still haven’t quite got the perfect version finalised so I expect to do a few more in the future.